Lyndon Armstrong, an aide to Sen. Pete Dominici (R-NM) explained to the New York Times that he would not state his opinion on the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) at the request of his boss. If you’re like me, your jaw probably dropped in shock that in the United States of America the co-chairman of the Gay, Lesbian and Allies Senate Staff Caucus has been told by his boss not to express his view about the FMA.
The article spoke of various efforts of activists spreading across the nation’s capital. It was absolutely wonderful to hear that our brothers and sisters (straight and gay) are calling out these modern day Roy Cohns. I was ecstatic when reporter Lynette Clemetson described that:”
During a recent dinner at a Washington restaurant, a friend loudly berated Mr. Armstrong in front of other patrons. He was even confronted about his political allegiance during a weekend getaway in Rehoboth Beach, Del., again, by people he considered friends.”
“YES!” I thought. People are tired of the Roy Cohns in their own community and they are standing up in public to them. In the article Mr. Armstrong also said,
“I don’t feel like I’m being attacked by anyone in my office”
I have some news for Mr. Armstrong. By serving on Dominici’s staff while the Senator casts votes against us, Lyndon helps the Senator to be in complete denial about his homophobic actions. If Mr. Armstrong wants to see someone in his office attack him, he only needs click here and review the Senator’s voting record. Some interesting highlights:
In 1996 the Employment Non-descrimination Act (ENDA) failed by ONE vote in the US Senate. Senator Pete Dominici, Mr Amstrong’s boss, voted AGAINST equal job protections for every gay and lesbian American. In other words, Mr. Armstrong’s boss, singlehandedly defeated these protections. Where was his leadership for the gay and lesbian people of New Mexico when he cast that vote? (you can see the vote tally here.) Oh, the other New Mexico Senator, Jeff Bingaman (D) voted for ENDA and then went on to win reelection with 62% of the vote. (So please spare us the “he was only representing his constituents” line.)
Just two weeks ago Mr. Armstrong was again stuck explaining Dominici’s vote against the gay and lesbian community. Dominici again abandoned the gay community of New Mexico when he voted with the hateful minority the Federal Marriage Amendment. Here’s what Mr. Armstrong told the Times: “[T]he polling in the state shows that the constituents there are overwhelmingly in support of the Federal Marriage Amendment”
News Flash for Mr. Armstrong: The other New Mexico Senator, JeffBingaman has voted with the Human Rights Campaign 100% of the time in the past two sessions of Congress and he is a four term US Seanator. Obviously, if ANYONE is in a strong position to lead gay people to full inclusion in in the Republican party it would be Sen. Dominici, a supposedly moderate Republican from a moderate state with a Jr. Senator who supports gay and lesbian equality without losing votes. Under circumstances like these, Sen. Domenici hangs gays and lesbians out to dry.
When will these guys learn?